Enterprise Applications: Microsoft Outlook.com Reimagines Email With an Eye Toward Gmail, Social

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-08-03 Print this article Print


Photo emails are brought to life with slide shows that launch directly out of Outlook.com with one click.
Microsoft recently introduced Outlook.com, a new personal email service that reimagines the way that people use email—from a cleaner look, to fewer and less obtrusive ads, to new connections to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Outlook.com, which is replacing Hotmail and competing with Google's Gmail, launched in preview form July 31. It offers the first major improvement to cloud mail in eight years, said Chris Jones, Microsoft's corporate vice president of Windows Live. "We think the time is right to reimagine personal email, from the data center to the user experience," he said. "So today we're introducing a preview of Outlook.com." Jones said Outlook.com, which builds off the power of the Outlook people have long used on their PCs and Macs, has a fresh, clean user interface that gets the clutter out of inboxes and takes away display ads and large search boxes, and works well with smartphones, tablets and the new Outlook 2013 Preview. He noted that webmail was first introduced with HotmaiL in 1996. Back then, it was novel to have a personal email address you could keep for life—one that was totally independent from your business or Internet service provider. Eight years later, Google introduced Gmail, which included 1GB of storage and inbox search. And while Gmail and other webmail services like Hotmail have added some features since then, not much has fundamentally changed in webmail over the last eight years—though yesterday's frustrations about the small size of inboxes are now things of the past. "Outlook is designed cloud first, so all of your mail is always available wherever you are," said Jones. "And so with the Outlook.com preview, we are giving you the first email service that is connected to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google and soon, Skype, to bring relevant context and communications to your email."
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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